Sunday, January 25, 2009


We are close to finishing a take. Tammy suddenly stops singing and puts her hands up to her face. Oh my God. I feel ill, she says. I think we're taping over the last take! She blurts. She races to the VS-880 and says it again. Oh, I feel ill.
You can do it again, I say. [You can play that Slinky again.] Soft talk. Tammy mutters "Undo." Undo? Right! A button on the machine that can undo what just happened. Ingenious. This button had saved us before... It will save us again.
Totally True
by Tammy Lin Foreman

and harsh
this incandescent light
I've got a million dead angels
on my heart tonight

they're all soarin on cigarettes
pukin on pages
their singin is sad
'coz God won't pay their wages

I've been praying
for my prince
to tap dance a tune
while I bash my guitar
in this half-painted room

but God he don't send him
I'm all sick and alone
so I call you long distance
on the telephone

sometimes I think
that my pants are
too tight
'coz you don't mind
my kitchen
and I think you're all right

but I don't ever say
I'm just lonely for you
and that's totally true

wish I could say
just how I feel

wish I could say
just how I feel

"I miss you."

"There's no one that's like you."

"You're so cool."

that's how I feel


that's how I feel.

The tripod is precariously positioned on the stairs and I'm zoomed in all the way to Tammy's face. Playing with the TRAIL effect button as she sings. And I'm mesmerized.

Let's put up the red blanket! Use the meditation balls. Wear that Chinese shirt. Happy Chinese New Year! As usual, we like to commemorate the holidays with the Instant Videos. It's the Year of the Ox. A year of prosperity through hard work.

Yes. Maybe after a nap.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In House Production

Tammy thinks of Florida. There's a sale at Fabricland. A sign in the window says it's 66% off the regular price of most fabrics. Tammy remembers the green curtain they used as a green screen for tourist photos at the hotel lobby where we stayed last month.

You don't even have to leave the hotel. You can get your photo taken in front of the green screen and the friendly resort photographer can put in any background you want. It doesn't matter how gusty the hurricane winds are outside. We can key-out the green screen behind you and slip in a picture of the Everglades.

I can do that! I say. Here at Fabricland, Tammy finds a shade of green that might work. She gets four meters for twenty bucks.

A few thumbtacks later and the living room is now a green screen studio. I teach the kids how to take the lint off the fabric using some masking tape.

I wonder what they'll remember from this period. Will they grow up to really take part? Will Sunny start to edit? Will Georgia play the drums? This has become a real "in-house production."

The kids watch movies, stay in their pajamas and forage for snacks. Mom and Pop shoot the next video. We're in our Instant Video bubble.

All the time, I'm cheesy zooming with the camera and thinking "What the heck am I going to put in the background?"

Moon and the Stars
by Tammy Lin Foreman

cars and castles
create more hassles
than the sky and earth
giving birth
to more awe and wonder
hear the thunder
lightning came first
followed by the burst

meant to scare
to make aware
you have no power
with your castles
and cars
building great speed
more than we need
marry myself
to the
moon and the stars

perfect wedding
darkness spreading
no question of
my lover above

oh a
perfect wedding
ah uh oh

Georgia leaves a trail of pictures in the camera for me to discover. Close-up snapshots from the 5 year-old perspective. Clues to the private world she shares with her older sister.

For use in Tammy's background I started with excerpts from Craig Baldwin's 1999 film "Spectres of the Spectrum." Craig Baldwin's been a huge inspiration to me, especially his editing of public domain archival footage. Shout out to this innovative filmmaker / artist.



Sunday, January 11, 2009

Desperately Seeking Susan

Tammy works at the restaurant a lot these days. Time at home with the kids is a blur. Sunny has chicken pox. Georgia is 5 years old! Plus, we're all still recovering from the holidays. We just need to get into a new routine.

Maybe the Instant Videos will help. They help mark the time. Since the new year I've started to look back and see how far we've come. Try to figure out where I can improve.

We're already at Number 15. I can't even believe it. Just the other day, I made a nice compilation of the Instant Videos on DVD that can be set to play all the tracks or individual and random play... Watching them all in one sitting I realize that this can be Tammy's new "album." Just as is. A DVD album.

It feels like The Gravity Song ended Season One. Fourteen episodes. A brand new one every week. I feel exhausted just thinking about it. I just really want to serve Tammy's amazing talent as a singer/songwriter and performer.

Part of the fun is trying to figure out how to make an Instant Video within our busy lives every week...while on vacation (My Waves) or when Tammy has a bad cold (Choke) or how to put the heart in the video every week for those playing our own I Spy a Heart game. After two seasons of this, I'm thinking I'm gonna want to have a little break.

Or will I? Maybe I won't want to stop. Maybe I'll want to push myself through that Wall. That blogger's Wall. And break on through to the other side.

Make Believe
by Tammy Lin Foreman

I got to tell you somethin'
while my heart is thumpin'
while this music's pumpin'
while this joint is jumpin'
Coz if you knew what I knew
Then you would say it's true
Make believe with me
Make believe with me
It's an illusion that I'm choosin'
Desperately seeking Susan
Make believe with me
Make believe with me

If I tell you how I feel
Will you understand?
If I tell you what is real?
Will you hold my hand?
Coz if you knew what I knew
Then you would say it's true
Make believe with me
Make believe with me
It's an illusion that I'm choosin'
Desperately seeking Susan
Make believe with me
Make believe with me

Every time I talk to you
My heart believes it's true
And then you believe it too

Is there glory in the story?
Is there happiness in the end?
Coz other stories they were sorrys
and they left my heart to defend

I got to tell you somethin'
I got to tell you somethin'
Make believe, make believe
Got something up my sleeve
It's an illusion that I'm choosin'
Is there glory in the story?
Is there happiness in the end?

I got to tell you somethin'

Tammy gets home late from work again tonight. Pressure's on. The video has to be shot tonight.

The regular headphones won't work with the black touque on my head. I need ear buds or something, says Tammy.

I'll run upstairs to get them, I say.

Georgia startles me. She's sitting at the top of the stairs. It's 1 o'clock in the morning. Apparently, all the commotion woke her up. Can I come downstairs and watch? She says.

Of course you can! As long as you're quiet.

Can I take some pictures too?

Haha. Sure.

[Photos: Georgia May]


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Nothing. Boring!

Members of the Instant Videos Facebook group all get a last minute invite to be part of the Instant Video shoot for #14 on New Year's Eve at our house. Tammy says, we have to do the Gravity Song. In keeping it on the positive.

The elements come together almost by themselves.

6PM What's the idea?

8PM I don't know.

Just find a place you're comfortable. I'll set it up. Take Georgia's chair... Start playing. I'll record you.

The other day, I put Gravity Song on repeat and my brain somehow noticed two elements in Tammy's back-up vocal I hadn't isolated before. One saying "nothing" and the other saying "boring." I instantly flashed on a way to get everyone who walks through the door involved somehow (with some editing.) We can create some kind of video guest list.

The guests arrive, lyric sheets are passed out. The borrowed hot light from W is a blast of heat. Then, Gestapo-style, guests are asked to deliver two words into the camera. Two words that typify the evening's sense of humour. It's a Happy New Year, after all.

The Gravity Song
by Tammy Lin Foreman

Negative gravitation
bringing me down, bringing me down
got the negative gravitation
bringing me down again.

And if I feel positive,
positive, positive
then I can fly
And if I feel positive
positive, positive
then I can fly

Thoughts in my head
like muzak
boring the sound
boring the sound
in my head
like muzak
boring the sound
for me.

And if I clear my mind
clear my mind, clear my mind
then I can hear
and if I clear my mind
clear my mind, clear my mind
then I can hear.

Projecting the past on the present
nothing but fear, nothing but fear
projecting the past on the present
nothing but fear for me.

And if I let it go
let it go, let it go
then I can see
And if I let it go
let it go, let it go
then I'll be free.